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This Month’s Highlights

Naxos 8.573051
Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873–1943)
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

Detroit Symphony Orchestra • Leonard Slatkin

Completed in 1936, two years after the hugely popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony was considered by the composer to be one of his finest works. Both this and the Symphonic Dances, his last work, offer a summation of his late style in blending intense rhythmic energy with rich romanticism. Leonard Slatkin and the DSO’s recording of the Second Symphony (8.572458) was hailed by BBC Music Magazine as “a performance warmed by musicians who clearly love this symphony”.

Naxos 8.573078
Lamentations Through the Ages

Miranda Laurence 1 and Susanna Fairbairn 2, sopranos
Robert Vanryne, trumpet 3 • Sospiri • Christopher Watson

The Lamentations of Jeremiah may be unremittingly sad, but they have had a deep resonance for composers throughout the ages. This is a collection that reflects that diversity – from John Mundy’s setting, which highlights the grave concern over schisms in the Catholic Church of the sixteenth century, through to Rudolph Mauersberger’s motet, which mourns the destruction of the city of Dresden in 1945. Two new pieces were commissioned especially for this project, and are recorded here for the first time: John Duggan’s haunting set of three Lamentations for choir, trumpet and solo soprano; and Cecilia McDowall’s exotic and powerful The Lord is Good, which was shortlisted for a BASCA award in 2012.

Naxos 8.559749
Michael DAUGHERTY (b. 1954)
Mount Rushmore* • Radio City
The Gospel According to Sister Aimee

Paul Jacobs, organ • Pacific Symphony • Pacific Chorale *
Carl St.Clair

GRAMMY® Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty explores three icons of “The Greatest Generation”, a turbulent period of adversity and achievement in the United States of America spanning the Great Depression of the 1930s through the Second World War. Mount Rushmore is a dramatic oratorio inspired by the monumental sculpture of four American presidents carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota. Radio City is a symphonic fantasy on the legendary Arturo Toscanini, who conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in live radio broadcasts heard by millions across America. The Gospel According to Sister Aimee is an organ concerto inspired by the rise, fall and redemption of religious celebrity Aimee Semple McPherson. Under the masterful baton of Music Director Carl St.Clair, the renowned Pacific Symphony is joined by Pacific Chorale, one of America’s greatest choirs, and GRAMMY® Awardwinning organist Paul Jacobs.

Naxos 8.573034
Ernest John MOERAN (1894–1950)
Cello Concerto*
Serenade in G (original version, 1948)
Lonely Waters
Whythorne’s Shadow

Guy Johnston, cello * • Rebekah Coffey, Soprano
Ulster Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

The Cello Concerto is one of Anglo-Irish composer E. J. Moeran’s most important works. Composed in 1945, its deft scoring and memorable melodic material mark it as a work of his maturity. At its heart is the raptly lyrical and profoundly felt slow movement but the whole concerto reflects the singing qualities of the solo instrument. The much-admired Serenade is heard in the 1996 edition of the original 1948 version with eight movements. Lonely Waters is a brief but evocative orchestral rhapsody, and Whythorne’s Shadow a touching fantasy based on an Elizabethan madrigal.

Naxos 8.572750
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Music for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1

Fanny Clamagirand, violin • Vanya Cohen, piano

 “I like nothing better than chamber music,” Saint-Saëns once wroteto a violinist friend and, indeed, he did much to promote the genre in Paris during the second half of the 19th century. Prominent among his works for violin and piano is the technically challenging 1885 Violin Sonata No. 1 which balances passion with clarity. The Triptyque of 1912 shows his mastery of melody, rhythm and metre, and elsewhere in this first volume one finds numerous examples of his instinct for charm and characterisation.

Naxos 8.578237

The Musical Legacy of the Legendary
Opera Impresario Domenico Barbaja

With music by Rossini • Weber • Bellini • Donizetti • Mercadante

Domenico Barbaja (1777–1841) was the legendary impresario who dominated European operatic stages for thirty years. The ruthless mogul was at the very heart of the bel canto era in which beautiful singing, allied to flawless technique, was brought to perfection. This release celebrates his legacy in exploring how Barbaja influenced the way opera was written and performed, by commissioning a series of masterpieces from the greatest composers of the time, such as Rossini, Donizetti and Weber, and staging them in his magnificent opera houses, performed by the most glamorous singers of the age.

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